Common Questions About Professional Headshots

Getting a professional headshot is vital for your career. It’s more than just a flattering photograph—it shows potential employers and clients the kind of person that you are, and it’s often one of the first things they’ll identify you with. However, as you’re looking to book your appointment with a photographer, you may be asking yourself plenty of questions. What makes a good headshot? What should I wear? Where can I use this? This is all completely normal, which is why we’ve laid out some of the answers to all (or at least most) of the questions you may have about headshot photography:

What is a headshot?

If you’re completely new to the professional world, or if you’ve never had a headshot done before, you’re likely unsure on what exactly a headshot is. A headshot, put plain and simple, is a photograph taken of a person from at least their waist up. Sometimes it’ll start from the chest or shoulders, but generally it’s of the upper half of the body, with the main focus on the head and face.

What is a headshot used for?

Headshots are used for websites, marketing material, resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and more. Simply put, they’re used for anything that can advance your career or your company’s brand. It provides a first impression to potential employers and clients, capturing the personality and professionalism of you or your employees. And these first impressions are vital when doing business, as they can often make or break your chances of getting hired.

What careers benefit from a headshot?

While we think of headshots as something for actors, models, and other performers, headshots can benefit any career. This is largely due to the internet which has caused professional websites and job-finding sites like LinkedIn to spike in popularity.

What makes a great headshot?

Plain and simple a great headshot is one that shows you at your best. Great lighting, sparkling eyes, charismatic expression. You should appear professional and refined, but also natural. Most importantly, a great headshot reflects your personality, giving viewers a chance to see what kind of person you are. How do you do this?  Keep your pose and smile relaxed, so nothing looks forced, and make sure that your hairstyle and outfit are both natural to that you could see yourself wearing around the office (see more about this below).

How often should I update my headshot?

You should update your headshot whenever your appearance changes substantially, namely if you’ve changed your hair color, gained or lost weight, or simply feel like you look more mature. If there have been no dramatic changes, then it’s a good idea to update your headshot every 2 years. Even if you haven’t changed, styles have, and it’s best to keep your headshot current with the times.

How should I prepare for a headshot?

Preparation should start a couple of weeks before your headshot, starting with a haircut. Get a haircut that’s nice, simple, and easy to replicate the morning of your headshot. A few days before your scheduled photo session, you should plan out your outfits (plan on bringing at least three outfits to your session) and your makeup. Your makeup should be flattering, but natural, as there is such a thing as “too much makeup.” Read over our outfit and makeup guides to learn more.

Still have questions about professional headshots? Then feel free to contact us at New York Headshot Photographer. We can answer any further questions you may have, as well as book you an appointment with our professional headshot photographers. Just give us a call at 212-262-9777 to get started.